December 25, 2008



Posted by Karen at 04:23 PM | Comments (1)

December 22, 2008


Here are the highlights of the shortest day of the year. It just doesn't get more wintry than this!

Scott plowed the driveway with his tractor so that we could back my car out of the garage, and pile firewood in the garage where my car used to be.

The view from our front porch at 3:00 in the afternoon -- getting dark, so soon:

Allegra built a snow fort yesterday. Here is how it looks this morning, covered in the snow that fell last night:


It's pretty well buried, eh?

I can't resist the ironic shot of snow-covered patio furniture.

We got a snowfall of at least 4-1/2" yesterday during the day and overnight, accumulating on top of what was already there, for a total of 9". I am thankful that our power has stayed on.

Okay, enough snow. I am ready for the days to get longer and sunnier.

Posted by Karen at 09:38 AM | Comments (1)

December 18, 2008



Schools were closed today, on account of the weather.


Mid-afternoon, with snow coming down, Allegra made an army of little snowmen.

The snow is still falling, as I write this. All of those snowmen are buried in snow. "It shows no signs of stopping," as they sing in that Christmas carol.

School today has not been the only thing canceled. Last night was to have been the open house at the dance studio, but that open house has been postponed until January. I hope it doesn't seem too anticlimactic to be dancing to "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" after Christmas is over.

Posted by Karen at 04:12 PM | Comments (2)

December 15, 2008


Haven't knitted a stitch, recently. But my sewing needle has been busy, making up this:


Allegra's dance school has its open house this coming week. They have a tradition that the high school girls do the closing number to "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus." It's a real play-to-the-audience dance. The girls wear red circle skirts, white Ts, and wacky Santa hats.

This is Allegra's first year doing this dance. I had been vaguely aware that the school had skirts to loan to kids who didn't have their own. But when Allegra came home with a skirt make out of felt, that was not even a circle but only flared, and had as its trim the kind of gold tinsel you'd put on your Christmas tree, I said, "We can do better. We'll make one."

I chose the simplest pattern, which was only three pieces and four seams. I didn't want to fool around with putting in a zipper, especially not on velvet, so I went with the pattern that had an elasticized waistband. We chose real velvet, and justified it by saying that, not only was it on sale for half price, but also if the dance school sticks to its tradition, she'll wear the skirt for three years. I did what my mother always told me to do: I hand-basted all my seams before running them through the sewing machine. I even did a Hong Kong finish on the side seams to keep the little velvety bits from shedding onto Allegra's clothing. Years ago I had made a circle skirt for myself, and I remember from that experience that the hem was the most difficult part, since the outside circumference of the raw edge is greater than the circumference of the finished hem. Hand-stitching the hem, and hand-stitching the mirabou trim each took two hours. I think the results are stunning, if I do say so myself.

Allegra said, "Malcolm's tail is a mirabou." And it is:


You can see we've had snow over the weekend!

* * *

Last night Scott and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. It was a low-key evening. We ate dinner at the Barking Frog and spent the night at the Willows Lodge in Woodinville. Earlier in the month we had bought new furniture for our family room, as our present to each other.

Posted by Karen at 10:45 AM | Comments (3)